Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) was enacted by the state legislature in 2015 through Act 56. The RES requires electric utilities to have specific amounts of renewable energy in their electricity generation portfolios. The amount of renewable energy increases over time, bringing all Vermont electric utilities to 75% renewable by 2032.
Utilities are able to buy and sell Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to meet their requirements for the RES. Renewable energy generators, like hydroelectric facilities or solar fields, produce electricity that flows onto the grid and RECs that can be bought and sold. One REC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of renewable electric generation.
It also encourages utilities to provide incentives to customers who complete projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The Renewable Energy Standard took effect in 2017 and is comprised of 3 components, commonly referred to as “tiers.”
Tier 1 of the RES requires utilities to purchase renewable energy equivalent to a certain percentage of their retail sales each year. The Tier 1 requirement was set at 55% in 2017 and increases steadily until reaching 75% in 2032.
Tier 2 of the RES stipulates that utilities purchase increasing amounts of energy from renewable distributed generators. The Tier 2 requirement was set at 1% of each utility’s retail sales in 2017 and increases to 10% in 2032. Tier 2 purchases also count towards the Tier 1 requirement.
Tiers 1 and 2 of the RES are similar to renewable portfolio standards in many states across the country. However, Vermont’s RES contains a unique third tier that requires utilities to procure additional amounts of energy from distributed renewable resources or to complete projects that result in a reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions from their customers. Tier 3 programs can consist of thermal efficiency measures, electrification of the transportation sector, and converting customers that rely on diesel generation to electric service, among other things.
The Vermont member utilities have the option of satisfying the RES requirements in aggregate. VPPSA manages our Members’ RES compliance through power supply purchases and the implementation of Tier 3 energy transformation programs.
Visit our Rebate page for current offers from VPPSA members.
Please note that individual member profiles may vary. For example, Swanton Village is 100% renewable after buying and selling RECs.
As of November 2019, Hyde Park Electric is no longer a VPPSA member. These charts do not include Hyde Park's electric portfolio.